Setting Goals Helps Bring Our Dreams Into Reality!
Goals give us a direction to take. They motivate us and guide us. Goals take everything from our smallest hopes and wishes to our biggest dreams, and help them become reality. In fact, the very act of goal setting takes us one step closer to achieving that goal.
This page contains tips for selecting your own goals, as well as inspiring goal setting quotes and photos!
"Everyone needs something to aim for.
You can call it a challenge,
or you can call it a goal.
It is what makes us human.
It was challenges
that took us from being cavemen
to reaching for the stars."
— Richard Branson
"The tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach."
How to Start Setting Your Goals
Begin Setting Your Goals By Brainstorming!
Wondering how to start writing your goals? In January, I created a list of goals for myself for the year. I began by brainstorming. Instead of considering whether or not I could actually achieve a certain goal or judging it in any other way, I just quickly jotted some down. In other words, I wrote whatever came to me. This was, after all, a brainstorming session!
I didn't worry about perfecting the goals at first. I just got the basic aspect of the goal down on paper. I knew I wasn't stuck with anything I wrote and that I could go back later and rewrite any of my goals until they expressed exactly what I wanted them to say.
In fact, it's always a good idea to keep flexibility in mind even after you've made your goals. Part way into the year, you may decide that something you thought was important just isn't that important to you after all. If that happens, either drop that goal completely, or change it to suit your current needs! You're in no way bound for the year with the goals you select today!
So pull out a pad and a pencil, or open a document on your computer, and brainstorm your personal goals. You can make small short term goals, small long term goals, bigger long term goals, or a combination of all three! Don't worry about getting them down just perfect at first. You can work more on that later. Just get some basic ideas down!
Brainstorming your goals - Tips on creating goals
If you are having trouble brainstorming your goals, here are a few questions you may want to ask yourself. Perhaps one or more of these will help.
- What do you really enjoy doing? List several things. Are there any of them that you could take another step with this year?
- Is there anything about your life you'd like to change? What steps could you take to begin to change that?
- Would you like to be more outgoing, spend more time with your family, begin a new career or supplement your current one? What small step could you take now that would lead you in that direction? Remember, you don't have to make a big leap all at once!
- Does travel appeal to you? If so, what steps can you take now that can help that dream become a reality later?
- Maybe you'd like to ask God or the universe for help in discovering your larger dreams as well as your next steps in life. If so, here's one way to go about that. Write the question on a piece of paper and leaving it beside your bed. Then make note of your dreams when you wake up. Also make note of anything out of the ordinary in your daily life for the next few days. Maybe the answer will come to you over the radio or tv (Yes, that does happen to people! It's happened to me before, as well as others I know!). Maybe someone standing in line in the grocery store in front of you will say something which will give you an idea. Or the answer may come to you as an article in the newspaper or a magazine. Your boss, friend, family member, or neighbor may casually say something which gives you an idea, without even being aware of it themselves. Or the answer could simply just pop into your head! When you ask the Universe or God a question, keep your eyes and ears open for an answer from just about anywhere!
The next step is to prioritize the goals you've brainstormed.
If you've come up with quite a few, consider how important each one is to you.
Once you've finished brainstorming, go back and examine your goals. Which ones are most important to you? Put a star beside them. Of those, how many can you realistically stick with? Do they compete with one another in terms of your personal resources - such as your time or money? If so, list them in order of importance to you and then decide which one or ones you'll choose to focus on now, and which you'll save for later. Keep in mind that if you try to focus on too many goals at once, especially when you're first getting started with goal setting, you might not accomplish any of them.
"If you don't take risks, you won't achieve anything." - Richard Branson
But don't worry! Not every goal has to be so tall! Nor do you have to achieve it in a single day!
Take one step at a time!
Next, break your larger goals into smaller, more manageable parts.
Then take it one step at a time!
If you have larger goals in mind, break them down into smaller steps. Don't worry about whether or not you can achieve the whole goal yet. If you just look at the big goal looming over you, lack of confidence in your ability to achieve the goal may hijack your efforts. Many times looking at the larger goal and worrying we'll never be able to accomplish it, keeps us from even starting. Just focus on one small step that you know you can do. When you've completed that one, look for the next step and make that your next goal. Remember that every journey starts with a single step.
Sometimes it's helpful to work backwards. Start with your ultimate goal - the end result - and think about the step that would come right before achieving that ultimate goal. Then think about the step that would come right before that one, and so on, until you come to your very first step for that goal. But whether you work forwards, from where you are right now to where you want to be, or your create your plan backwards from where you want to be to where you are right now, the important key is to break those larger goals down into smaller, manageable steps.
Have your goals and individual steps on paper now?
Go back and reread them! Make sure they express what you really want to accomplish!
After you have your goals listed, take another look. Ever hear the saying, "be careful what you ask for?" It's a good idea to be careful with the wording you choose for your goals. Making sure they say exactly what you want them to say. After all, you may just get what you ask for!
Got your goals the way you like them now? Don't stop there! Now you need to work towards achieving them! Bring them into reality! Remember, it all starts with a single step.
"Do something everyday that moves you at least one step closer to your most important goal."
— Brian Tracy
Some people use various imaginative or other spiritual techniques to help them achieve their goals.
Goals!: How to Get Everything You Want -- Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible - available on Kindle, or in paperback and audiobook
Would you like to see my list of (as well as my progress in achieving) my personal 2011 goals?
- My Personal Goals: Living Life to the Fullest
This site is a collection of my personal 2011 goals! It includes inspiring photos and quotes about goal setting as well.
"Be Realistic: Expect A Miracle" - "Looking for a Miracle" - a song by Bill Mann
When we are motivated by goals
that have deep meaning,
by dreams that need completion,
by pure love that needs expressing,
then we truly live life.
— Greg Anderson
Here are some additional goal setting resources you may find helpful as you set your goals!
If you don't have a dream,
how you gonna have
a dream come true?
— Lyrics in "Happy Talk" from South Pacific
© 2011 JanieceTobey
Tell us about your goals! - What goals in the past have been success stories for you?
goldenrulecomics from New Jersey on February 08, 2014:
I agree that you need goals. It really makes life more worthwhile and meaningful...
kabbalah lm on February 04, 2013:
This is an area I need to work on. Thanks for the tips
Alan Katz from Florida on December 29, 2012:
Nice lens. I've been goal setting for years. The one thing I've learned is to make your goals attainable.
LadyelenaUK on July 06, 2012:
I did a search on google for Brian Tracey quotes and your lens came up. Very inspiring. Thanks.
NC Shepherd on June 24, 2012:
At least once a year I take these steps to re-evaluate my goals. It helps me stay on track.
erika-awakening on June 03, 2012:
I get constant reminders from my Angel cards to set my sights higher ... even when I already think I'm setting them high. Thanks for the nicely-done lens :)
Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on January 31, 2012:
I need to get my goals organized and appreciate this lens.
cjnewsome on January 30, 2012:
You need goals to have a purpose.
andrearicciardi on January 29, 2012:
i love making goals!
KimGiancaterino on January 21, 2012:
Writing goals down is important. I keep spiral books on my desk to organize practically every project. Perfect time of year for this lens!
Barbara Tremblay Cipak from Toronto, Canada on January 20, 2012:
Like most serious Squids are (I suspect), am very goal oriented, finding that I achieve the best results when I feel, believe and see the end result long before attaining it. Lovely lens. :)
Deb Kingsbury from Flagstaff, Arizona on January 20, 2012:
I'm a very goal-oriented person. If I don't have things to work towards, both creative and physical challenges among other things--I get depressed.
Heidi from Benson, IL on January 14, 2012:
Been working on my goals...Bit by bit...It takes time, but then, I dream big. Probably my biggest advice for anyone with a goal is to not be discouraged by setbacks because they will happen. NASA would never have reached the Moon if they gave up after "Kaputnik" or "The Four Inch Flight" or the Apollo 1 disaster and you shouldn't give up, either.
Close2Art LM on January 13, 2012:
it makes sense to try to make your goal come to being by working backwards from the goal, Great!!!Blessed
Mary Beth Granger from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA on January 13, 2012:
Last year I wrote a lens listing 6 goals for the coming year for my photography and squidoo business. I felt very motivated and accomplished 5 of the 6 goals. I think taking the time to set the goals helped me in meeting them! Your lens reminded me to start to work on some more goals for the coming year. thanks and blessed by a squidangel.
Leah J. Hileman from East Berlin, PA, USA on January 12, 2012:
I know everyone enjoying this lens will not share my experience, I personally find that bathing my goal-setting in prayer and listening for God's guidance not only gives me comfort in God's promise that if we commit our way to the Lord, our plans will succeed, but also frees me to be more imaginative in figuring out how to reach my goals.
nyclittleitaly on January 07, 2012:
Great lens, Thank you
Gigi2012 on January 07, 2012:
It's all about baby steps that get you to where you need to go!
Paula7928 on January 06, 2012:
What a great lens!
benny77 on January 06, 2012:
Great Lens...Thank you!
Tracy Smith from Maryville, TN on January 05, 2012:
Wonderful article. I have learned to never give up.
moonlitta on January 04, 2012:
It's true. If you aim higher you'll reach higher!
writywrite on January 04, 2012:
what a beautiful lens well done
miaponzo on January 03, 2012:
Great ideas! That is my motto... never give up... go for what you want... and REACH FOR THE STARS!!! Blessed!
baby-strollers on January 02, 2012:
It's true, the trip of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
rockhardtreats1 on January 02, 2012:
some really great motivational quotes in this squidoo lens, which we all can use to help us reach the Cravings we have in the New Year.
Teri Villars from Phoenix, Arizona on January 01, 2012:
Always finish what you start...."Git 'er done!" ha! Squid Angel blessed
Lynda Makara from California on January 01, 2012:
I like what you wrote about asking God or the universe for guidance. It really does work. One of the goals I achieved was to be a full-time artist.
cleanyoucar on January 01, 2012:
Inspiring lens. 1st step is to take action, without that nothing happens :D
Edutopia on January 01, 2012:
The most important part of any goal is to always make sure that it is realistically obtainable. Never set your sights too high that you lose sight of the details that will be needed to get there.
JohnMichael2 on January 01, 2012:
writing my book and holding the published version of it in my hands has been such a great milestone in my life ... several more of them on the horizon and each will have the same effect...
Missy Zane on December 31, 2011:
Reading this was a great way to start the new year. Thank you!
YsisHb on December 31, 2011:
Already by reading the title of this lens I felt that it must be something very important for me.
(Actually it is the first reading of the new year).
David Gardner from San Francisco Bay Area, California on December 31, 2011:
Nice lens! We're also a homeschooling family ... and both of our kids (especially my daughter) have their "bucket lists" -- things they want to do... Both kids have reached their black belts in Tae Kwon Do after getting blue belts in Shaolin Kempo. Both kids now work with airplanes (my son with the USAF and my daughter at a flight training school) -- they have set their goals literally "sky-high" ... and they're attaining them. Congratulations on a Squidoo masterpiece!
Chocolatealchemy from London, United Kingdom on December 31, 2011:
Fantastic Lens - thank you and I've discovered this at exactly the right moment (synchronicity is truly awesome!) 2011 is ending and 2012 is almost here. Just in time to work on my wildest daydreams.
May 2012 be a prosperous, creative, inspiring, exciting, joyful year with good health and happiness in abundance.
LisaGirlGenius on December 31, 2011:
In 2012 I would love to buy a new house...our first house. This was such a fabulous lens to read this morning!
Clairissa from OREFIELD, PA on December 30, 2011:
Great lense! Thanks I needed that.
Sharyn Read from ... either in the kitchen or at my laptop... on December 30, 2011:
To use your imagination to create a better life for yourself is so important... life, as they say, it not a dress rehearsal... if you focus on what you want to be, to do, to have or to give and work each day in that direction, you will create a far more en-JOY-able life! Great lens, thanks for the reminders! :)
DIYParty on December 30, 2011:
Brilliant lens, perfect timing!
PTurner56 on December 30, 2011:
I have a girlfriend that always says "Anyone can eat an elephant---one bite at a time".
vuquanganh on December 30, 2011:
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on December 30, 2011:
I was just reading a book that recommends having great goals to really get motivated...big dreams. So, am thinking big.
clemency lm on December 30, 2011:
Excellent lens, really useful tips.
Mary Crowther from Havre de Grace on December 29, 2011:
Great tips for motivating and setting goals!
purpleclouds on December 29, 2011:
This is a great lens, and it's perfect timing to set goals for next year. Thanks for sharing
mowug1776 on December 29, 2011:
thanks, it was very insightful. My problem is that my goals are too far out in the future. Very good lens.
John Dyhouse from UK on December 28, 2011:
I know I should be setting goals, this lens has made it so much easier and more likely to happen - thanks
MaartjeJepsen on December 28, 2011:
Time to sit down and set my goals for the next year!
BuddyBink on December 27, 2011:
Excellent. We all need to have goals, something to strive for, something to be passionate about. Well done an excellent lens for this time or any time of year.
Anthony Godinho from Ontario, Canada on December 27, 2011:
Just back to bless this wonderful lens and submit it for the Squidoo Home Page Squid Angel Quest. All the best for 2012 and may you achieve all the goals you've set yourself to achieve...stay blessed! :)
anonymous on December 27, 2011:
I love this page - I do plan on achieving some challenging goals for 2012. I have a list started and I am sure it will change as the new year progresses but it feels good to get started as I also have some life changing challenges this coming year.
fullofshoes on December 26, 2011:
AshAffiches on December 26, 2011:
very good Janiece
jadehorseshoe on December 26, 2011:
Goals are important; ditto, hopes and wishes. Nice Lens!
jimmyworldstar on December 26, 2011:
I've been able to make exercise a daily goal from starting out by running once a week to running every other day and doing home exercises when I'm not running. Depending on the goal, it always helps to have someone working towards the same goal to help motivate you. If you have lofty goals, try breaking them down into smaller more accomplish-able goals from the start and then working your way upwards.
Jen Wood from Australia on December 26, 2011:
making a garden happen over 4 years by doing something for 20 minutes at a time
curious0927 on December 26, 2011:
I really needed this! Thanks and great lens!
casquid on December 26, 2011:
Got it! Brilliante!
gemjane on December 26, 2011:
Good ideas here--something I needed! Thanks for writing this.
Harshitha LM on December 26, 2011:
I'm back. I have done exactly the way I had to and boy! am I happy?! I have reached halfway and this really is fun. and whenever I asked a question, universe answered it!
clouda9 lm on December 13, 2011:
Excellent page and perfect nudge as we wind down 2011 to move into 2012.
Joan4 on December 11, 2011:
I have been a serious goal-setter for years - and I do believe those goals have moved me to places I would have never been -- like Squidoo! I enjoy adding pictures to my goals (love your posters here!).
Paul from Montreal on December 04, 2011:
Inspiring information, blessed!
Fiona from South Africa on September 28, 2011:
Almost every goal I have written down has become a reality - except for weight loss
Fiona from South Africa on September 27, 2011:
Great lens - thanks - my goal is to implement some of these steps
julietarot lm on June 28, 2011:
Always good to be reminded to do things in steps rather than being overwhelmed by the overall goal.Good lens.
hamshi5433 on June 21, 2011:
""If you don't take risks, you won't achieve anything." -Richard Branson " This is so true..Right now am facing so many challenges in life, there are many who are criticising me and saying that am wasting my time on things that will not benefit me etc but once I achieve my goals, the same crowd will be praising me. So I have learned not to let any one bring me down with negative and discouraging talks, no matter what others say..I will stick to my goals, work hard towards it until I achieve it..
For. e.g. Squidoo money! Many think its waste of time, My family members also think its pointless but I can already see the benefits it will bring for my future if i stick to it and work hard and be patience.
Thank you for sharing these wonderful encouraging ideas for others to work towards their goals. :)
Harshitha LM on February 24, 2011:
I'm going to try this goal setting now for a few months. I'll be back to write about it.
anonymous on February 20, 2011:
These are some great tips. I have so many goals to set now... I think I may just create a Lens on it! Thank you for the idea!
anonymous on January 23, 2011:
I haven't made a goals lens yet. Reading ones like this, gives me lots of ideas about how to go about creating one. Its so interesting to read someone's goals. I just can't tel you how much I hope that all your dreams will come true for you. Thanks for sharing.
Anthony Godinho from Ontario, Canada on January 12, 2011:
Valuable tips and information on setting and achieving goals. Setting goals and having a plan does take us one step closer to achieving our dreams, so it's important. As Larry Elder said "A goal without a plan is just a wish.". Excellent work!